Эссе: The Allegory of Love

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...Though not incapable, as he has plainly demonstrated, of rigorous speculative thought, he here falls back to the gentlemanly level where all men of "polite imagination", in Addison's phrase, may follow him. Poetry, he says, takes for its subject matter anything that may be the subject of conversation, excepting only the attempt to prove (which is the province of science and philosophy) and the attempt to accomplish an immediate practical purpose [propaganda?]. Most poetry, indeed, tells stories. Poetry, like any other utterance, should be interesting; poetry, like any other utterance, should make us happier, wiser, or better. Surely this is no dangerous departure from the respectable Victorian tradition and surely it is not illuminating. (pp. 597-98) It will seem, I imagine, to most contemporary critics that for the personal heresy Mr. Lewis has substituted one as ancient and at least as damned: the heresy of the separation of form from matter&. Mr. Lewis makes the appreciation of poetry too easy. In so far as the poet gives intelligible expression to the concrete reality of experience, he is bound, Mr. Lewis seems to say, to communicate that experience. We are all mute inglorious Miltons, inferior to the poet only in linguistic aptitude. ...